The final whistle has sounded at St Mary’s. Southampton have secured a narrow victory over champions Liverpool. And Austrian manager Ralph Hassenhuttl is on his knees.
It’s his first ever victory over Jurgen Klopp and his team and he is celebrating as if the Saints have just secured the league title.
It’s not something you see very often in the roadshow that is the Premier League. A rare display of emotion that shows the world exactly what this victory means to Ralph Hasenhuttl.
And the win was secured by a nonstop all in committed performance from his team. Everything left out there.Running. Chasing Harrying. Every single player committed to the potent cause the Austrian has created in Hampshire.
His touchline show of emotion perhaps explains what it is he has created. Akin to the ability to find meaning in every game. Every intention loaded to support the bigger picture. Support a team-mate. Support the collective. Everything matters. Noting taken for granted.
In the high finance world of modern football, this is quite a magic trick. To carry this off requires authenticity; credibility; and a believeability that brings everyone on board and on side. Players prepared to go the extra mile for the cause because to not is to let EVERYONE down.
How long it is sustainable for, well who knows? But in this moment Ralph Hassenhuttl has desgined and created a high function football performance machine. Driven by a cause that makes the collective greater than any individual. And yet each individual fully aware of the part they play in supporting the cause.
If league titles were awarded for maximizing what you have, then Southampton would be worthy champions.